No heat in 1 zone, hot water baseboard


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Old 11-02-11, 10:31 AM
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No heat in 1 zone, hot water baseboard

So first I thought my thermostat for 1 zone was bad. Now, it looks like the thermostat wasn't the problem, but something else is fishy. I discovered that in my 1st floor, the heat wasn't shutting off. I went to check the taco valves, and found that on one zone, the taco lever was set to "open" so I closed it. The heat in the living room seemed to dissipate. On the third floor, where I was originally having problems, I was getting heat in 1 room, but not another and they are supposed to be in the same zone. Now, when I try to bleed that zone, nothing comes out except a short trickle of water. This is new, and I don't know if it's related to me touching the taco valve, which I thought was on another zone. Does anything here sound familiar, any tips you guys can give? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-02-11, 11:57 AM
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Hi,

What is the make and model of the boiler?

What does the pressure and temp say on the boiler gauge?

Specifically how many zones, or t stats?

How is the hot water heated?

We can start there. Post this info and we can help.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 07:41 AM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/1036648...eat=directlink

Took as many pics as I could this morning. It's a Peerless Cast Iron, gas heated, temp is about 215 deg F, pressure 12.5 psi, and see the wiring which looks really bizarre to me. Bought the house this way. I've THINK I've confirmed that the powerhead is bad, pulling the lever down and manually overriding the valve. Now the problem with the Thermostat not turning on the boiler is back with another zone, and I'm going to have to trouble shoot that too. Is there anything I should do before going out and buying another Taco powerhead?
 
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Old 11-03-11, 08:07 AM
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Hello William,
Do you have and know how to use a volt meter ?


Peter
 
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Old 11-03-11, 08:29 AM
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If I can remember back to my physics class, connect one end of the meter to each wire and get a voltage readiing? Where should I take a reading? I thought about doing it to the wires connected to the Taco units, but not sure if I should be testing the connection between 1 and 2, 2 and 3, or 1 and 3.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 09:00 AM
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Hi,

Your temp is too high. There should be an aquastat with a dial to set the high temp limit. Turn the wheel down until you get the boiler to turn off at 180F.

I believe you need more pressure also to get flow to the top floors. If thats only 12 psi with a hot boiler it should be higher. Especially since you have three floors. With the boiler somewhat cooler add some water to the boiler so you are at the 17 psi range. I know there is a formula and off the top of my head I belive 17 psi is about right.

But before you do that your should turn the boiler off, shut off the feed, let it cool , then isolate the boiler from the zones and bleed the pressure off. Then change the air vent and adjust the psi in the expansion tank to say 17psi.


Change this. And while the system has no pressure check the psi of the tank that sits below it with a tire gauge.



Then when you get that all straightened out fill the boile back up. Open all valves you closed.

Lift that lever on the left in this pic. Its the fill valve. You see it pipes to the relief valve riser. Get the psi up to the 17psi.

Others will chime in on this psi suggestion.



Now after all that we can address the zones. You have three? Do any of them work? Explain a little better specifically the trouble you are having with each.



Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 10:11 AM
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First off, thanks for the attention to my case. I've only been a homeowner for a month, and I'm getting a crash course in this and just about every other aspect of DIY home maintenance. Just had my house broken into two nights in a row before moving in, and I'm now tight on funds after having a security system installed. Long story short, the guidance really means a lot!

Zone 1 (Basement): Works fine
Zone 2 (1st floor): Discovered the valve on the power head open, hot water unable to turn off. I closed the lever to Auto, and could not get any heat with the T-stat turned up. The power head does not seat properly, and my guess is it's busted.
Zone 3 (2nd floor): Works fine
Zone 4 (3rd floor): This one's confusing me because it's only working intermittently. 2 days ago it didnt, yesterday it did, and this morning it didnt. When it did, the heating loops in one of the rooms wasn't getting hot, and the heat seemed weak overall.

I will have to get the new air trap at Home Depot... I just hope, HOPE it unscrews and that I can screw a new one right in, with all that corrosion.


To answer your question, there are 4 zones total, another power head is out of view to the left.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wzolla86
Zone 4 (3rd floor): This one's confusing me because it's only working intermittently. 2 days ago it didnt, yesterday it did, and this morning it didnt. When it did, the heating loops in one of the rooms wasn't getting hot, and the heat seemed weak overall.
Possible this is caused by the low water pressure. (and or possibly air)
Mike is giving you good advice on what to do next.

Peter
 
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Old 11-03-11, 11:02 AM
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Yes dont worry about the zone that dont work right know. leave it open so you will get heat to that room for now when other zones are calling for heat.

Get all the other stuff I mentioned taken care of first.

Take more pics of things you dont understand and ask any questions you may need help with.

And you do understand the how and why of what you need to do to sevice parts on the boiler, correct? Such as boiler feed, relieving pressure, letting it cool, etc...???


Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa
And you do understand the how and why of what you need to do to sevice parts on the boiler, correct? Such as boiler feed, relieving pressure, letting it cool, etc...???
I'm glad you asked because it would be my first time doing it, so not really. So my order of operation would look something like this:

1. Turn down Aquastat setting to 180*F
2. Shut boiler off: Should I be looking for a switch, turn of the gas supply at it's valve,
3. Shut off the feed: I'm looking for a shutoff handle or valve I assume. Do you mean water feed or gas feed?
4. Let it cool: Approx. temperature?
5. Isolate the boiler from the zones: which valves would I close? Would I have to make sure the Taco zone valves are closed by turning down the thermostat? shut the valve on the return pipes right below the bleed spigot?
6. Bleed pressure off: Would that be by bleeding water from the boiler at the relief valve?
7. Change air vent: Is there a risk of not being able to screw in a new component with all that corrosion, and could I be making maters worse for myself by removing it?

Then if all goes well, I would open all valves, fill the boiler up to 17 psi, and turn the boiler on again, right?
 
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Old 11-03-11, 01:59 PM
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1. Yes turn down the aquastat to 180. The gauge could be off though and not reading correct temp. Possibly its not reading correct pressure also. But if your pipes are unbearable to touch then you will kind of know your running too hot. The best way to adjust is on a call for heat. When the temps starts getting upo to say 170F start rolling back on the aquastat dial until the burner shuts off. Make sure the t stat is set high enough for a continous call for heat from one of the zones that work.

2.Look for the red emergency switch on the wall somewhere. This will cut off power to the boiler. Gas supply can stay on.

3. I mean water feed. There should be a valve somewhere before that device in pic two of my post with the pictures. It looks like the pipe goes back along the wall. There should be a valve there. That shuts off the water to the boiler so you can service parts.

4. Let it cool to say 100F. If not when you remove the air vent and water comes out you can be injured by scalding hot water. Better to have the boiler cool.

5. Turning the power off will allow the zone valves to stay closed. Close all 4 of those yellow handle valves inder the 4 boiler drains. This will isolate the system from the boiler so you dont lose much water.

6. Find the boiler drain. Should be at the bottom of the boiler. Hook up a short washing machine hose and drain in a bucket. Take out enough water until the pressure gauge reags )psi. Also get a hose bib cap when at the home store. Sometimes the boiler drains leak and will not close all the way and drip slightly. A temp fix is to put a hose bib cap on it. Of couse the right way would be to change it. But see what happens.

7. Change air vent. It should unscrew easy enough CCW. With the new one get some teflon tape and tape the threads before installing the new one. With the threads pointing right, wrap in a CW motion. Only two or three times. Leave the first couple of threads exposed. Then install carefully not to cross thread. Too much tape will make it harder to thread. You may want to use teflon paste instead. Dont worry all will go well.

8. Also while the boiler still has no pressure check the tank that sits below the air vent. Use a tire gauge. There is a shrader valve on the bottom. I still have to check how much pressure to add, but I would say 15-17psi. If it does not read that add air with a bike pump.

Then you are done there.


Open every thing back up.

See where the pressure gauge rises to after a few minutes. If it settles at 12 add more water with the fill valve. Its the lever on the device near where the water shut off was. Lift the handle until you have alittle over 15psi.

Then run the lowest zone only. Let the boiler get up to temp. Any air should bleed out of the new air vent. ( Make sure the cap on the air vent is loose. Tighten it and loosen it 0ne turn. This is normal operating position.)

As air comes out you may need to add water to the boiler. The air coming out may reduce the pressure back down to the 12 psi mark. ( There is a way we can adjust the fill valve so it will keep the boiler at the higher pressure, but we can tackle that later.

Get the above done and let us know how it goes.

Also if anyone knows that book to read on hydronics for this gentleman possibly they can post it.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-04-11, 05:04 AM
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Hoo boy

I followed your directions, and managed to get the auto-vent replaced, which I am thrilled to see is working! I would hate to have to bleed the zones every other day.

Well, the bad news is that I'm pretty sure the pressure gauge must be stuck at about 12.5.



As you can see, the temp is all the way down after draining the system, and there is no pressure. I think I let out all the water in the system trying to get that pressure down. Since there was obviously no pressure, I replaced the vent but I misplaced my tire gauge and I'll have to go pick up a new one today to check the pressure of the expansion tank. But when it came to filling the boiler back up with water, I opened the water feed valve and lifted on the handle behind the relief valve. While filling it up and not seeing the pressure needle budge, there was a loud splurt of water from the pressure relief valve -- I'm assuming this meant the pressure was too high? I'm kind of stuck until I can read the pressure on this damn thing. Can those gauges be removed and replaced easily?
 

Last edited by wzolla86; 11-04-11 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 11-07-11, 08:54 AM
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I still haven't solved my problem, but I did get a new pressure gauge to test the pressure in the expansion tank. I took a pressure reading of 10 psi, after which wet bubbles started coming out of the schrader valve, and the water had a fishy/ammonia smell to it. I guess that means my expansion tank is shot. Working on finding a new one. As far as the rest of it goes, should I call a plumber about the stuck tridicator on the boiler? Can't adjust the pressure without a proper reading...
 
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Old 11-07-11, 09:19 AM
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The gauge just unscrews. Any plumbing supply in your area will have them.

Patriot Supply - 510-218-097

If you cant get behind it to grab the nut to turn it out, use a big channel locks and grab the outside of the gauge itself.

Dont squeeze too tight to break the gauge, but just tight enough to get enough grip to turn. ( lefty loosey tighty righty )

Expansion tanks there also at the supply house or your local big box store has them. Make sure you mark the size down and tell them its for a boiler. They make potable tanks for water heaters and you dont want that.

You should not have to lift the handle on the fill valve to fill the boiler. Thats realling only used to increase pressure when purging zones. It will fill itself to 12-15 psi when you open the feed valve.

So when you drains the boiler the PSI on the gauge did not go to 0 psi? I see the temp is at 0 f so that seems to be working.

You can do it!!!! Take your time and think it through.

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-18-11 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 11-14-11, 04:42 AM
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Thanks so much!

So as of yesterday, I managed to solve my heating problems. After finally replacing a bad auto vent, a bad expansion tank, and a bad temperature pressure gauge, and a bad Taco zone valve power head, I was able to get the system running as normal, except where I didn't have heat in 1 zone, I now had heat in only 2/3 rooms in that zone. The return pipe was warm where it returned down to the basement, so I figured there was air in one branch. Normal bleeding was not solving the problem. Then I found this http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...thin-zone.html. So when doing another purge, I lifted the autofill lever and, sure enough, each time I did I heard the loud "fup fup fup" of air coming through the hose. Now, I I've had consistent heat to that room for a few heat-up cycles and can finally move into that bedroom.

Thanks so much for the advice, I don't know what I would have done without it. Actually, I do-- I would have had a plumber come when I'm already stretched pretty thin financially . Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-14-11, 03:55 PM
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Great! glad you got it all worked out and didn't have to stretch them purse strings...
 
 

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